Ellen O’Keefe Melillo died Thursday surrounding by family and friends. She was 83.
Ellen was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1935 to Lavada Harlamert O’Keefe and Timothy Francis O’Keefe. She met and married a native New Yorker, Lawrence Paul Melillo, an architect who practiced in Louisville for many years. They were married for 50 years, until his death, in 2002.
Ellen graduated from Loretto High School in Louisville and attended Western Kentucky University on a work/scholar program. She excelled in academics and extracurricular activities including a national sharpshooter title and ranking for the school. She returned to her hometown and received her degree from the University of Louisville in 1957.
Ellen was an avid golfer, bridge player, bowler and lover of the arts. She taught school in her early years and raised three daughters. She was a member of Holy Spirit Parish and attended Mass daily. She was kind-hearted and strong-willed -- surviving cancer and living with Parkinson’s disease in her later years.
Ellen touched so many lives and supported her girls unconditionally in all things. She was so loved and she loved in return.
She is survived by Lynne Melillo Bolton (Roger), Lisa Melillo and Laura Melillo Barnum (Campbell) and nine grandchildren: Margaret Taylor Bolton, John Lawrence Bolton, Timothy Michael Bolton, Alexandra Elizabeth Rost, Georgia Lynne Rost, Bryan Lawrence Rost, Joseph O’Keefe Barnum, Baylor Lawrence Barnum and Brooks Tafel Barnum.
Visitation will be held at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Road in Louisville from 3-5 PM Friday with a funeral Mass 11:30 AM Saturday at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 3345 Lexington Road in Louisville, with burial to follow in Calvary Cemetery.
In Lieu of flowers, Ellen asks that you "pay it forward" with a special act of kindness for another person in need.